Employer-Employee Loyalty as an Outdated Concept

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 2
Words: 576
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

The issue of loyalty in the labor market can be highly controversial these days, and it depends on various factors. Clearly, there is much less loyalty in the employer-employee relationship than it was seventy years ago, during the time of rapid economic growth in the post-war societies of the West. Overall, in the middle of the 20th century, the concept of career growth was linked much closer to the advancement within one firm rather than job switching (Wartzman, 2017).

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There were numerous objective reasons for these changes, including the overall macroeconomic situation, unions’ dissolution, shifts in the economic structure, decisions of courts, etc. The fact is that by the 1990s the employer-employee loyalty diminishing narrative was already broadly discussed within scientific and corporate societies (Powers, 2000). It is reasonable to say that the trend continued into the 2000s; moreover, some of the economic and financial disasters that happened later only strengthened it. For instance, around 25% of American workers and about 40% of workers who participated in the global survey consider switching jobs after the pandemic (Castrillon, 2021). The reasons for such a decision include career advancement and work-life balance.

Regarding the position that supports the topic of the discussion, there may be numerous arguments that strengthen it. One of such arguments is the increased speed of change in the global economy that destroys, creates, and transforms professions at an unprecedented rate. In a world where one’s field of work can be transformed entirely in twenty years’ time, it is difficult to apply the principle of employer-employee loyalty. There is no guarantee that a company to which an employee should be loyal will still exist in fifteen years; there is no guarantee that the employee’s skills and knowledge will still be relevant. Therefore, for many, the best strategy is the flexibility of skills, knowledge, and, subsequently, of workplaces.

There is a broad range of arguments that disagree with the topic of the text and claim that these days the importance of loyalty has only grown. This idea is based on the fact that most of humanity made a transition towards a knowledge economy that highlights the importance of companies’ intangible assets, including ideas and creativity (Kot-Radojewska & Timenko, 2018). These assets are necessary for competition, and their only source is human resources. Moreover, as intangible assets of companies are complex and nuanced, people that create them can not be replaced easily and should be picked carefully. Thus, nowadays, companies are highly interested in creating employer-employee loyalty links to keep their valuable and expensive assets as long as possible.

While it is possible to identify ideas supporting each of the positions, they differ in their application. One of the most widely recognized trends these days is the polarization of the job market and the gradual extinction of middle-skill, middle-income jobs (Seltzer, 2019).

At the same time, the demand for high- and low-skilled labor has increased. Therefore, the first paragraph that supports the topic of the essay is more relevant for the representatives of middle-skill jobs as their job sectors are losing relevance. These people cannot afford to be loyal to one company anymore as time demands changes from them. Therefore, the knowledge-economy argument is primarily relevant to highly demanded specialists whose expertise in such sectors as IT and AI has only gained relevance in recent years. It is rational for these people and their employers to develop mutual loyalty; for them, this concept is far from outdated.

References

Kot-Radojewska, M., & Timenko, I. V. (2018). Employee loyalty to the organization in the context of the form of employment. Oeconomia Copernicana, 9(3), 511–527. Web.

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Powers, E.L. (2000). Employee loyalty in the new millennium. S.A.M. Advanced Management Journal, 65(3), 4-8.

Seltzer, N. (2019). Beyond the Great Recession: Labor market polarization and ongoing fertility decline in the United States. Demography, 56(4), 1463-1493. Web.

Wartzman, R. (2017). The end of loyalty: The rise and fall of good jobs in America. PublicAffairs.